Unfortunately, it’s much easier to be derailed than it is to stay on track with our workouts. We’re busy, tired, overextended, obligated. We have jobs, families, commitments. But when we allow these things to regularly interfere with out workout schedule, what we really have is a bunch of excuses. So how do we push through and get the workout done when it is the very last thing we feel like doing? It’s pretty simple, really: you just go get it done. That’s it! The secret. You don’t have to feel like it, you just have to go do it. I promise you, when you’re done, you will be very glad you soldiered through.
Here are some ways I use to stay on track when the last thing I feel like doing is putting on my workout clothes and going to the gym.
8 Ways to Stay on Track with Your Workouts
- Put your workout in your to-do list. Make it nonnegotiable. A workout is just part of your day…don’t hem and haw over it, just get it done.
- Work out with a buddy. Committing yourself to a friend, a partner, or even an online community makes you more likely to stick with your workouts. Accountability is a strong motivator, and we can all benefit from giving and receiving support. Plus, you’re less likely to bail on a workout if it means leaving your partner in the lurch.
- Record your progress. Keep a fitness journal and record your workouts. Make note of how you’re feeling and how your workout went, especially on those days when you lacked motivation. Make note of what got your moving and how you felt after completing the workout; then go back and read these entries for inspiration the next time you feel like tapping out.
- Realize that you won’t always feel motivated, and that’s perfectly normal. Work out anyway! Emotion tends to follow motion, as they say. Get your workout done even if you’re not “feeling it.” You’ll be glad you stuck with it.
- Have a plan. Don’t just go to the gym and wander around aimlessly from machine to machine. Have a plan for what you’ll be working and which equipment you’ll use.
- Minimize distractions. If you normally use your cell phone to play music, don’t check email or Facebook during your workout. If you can’t resist the temptation, leave your phone in your locker and invest in an MP3 player.
- Shake up your routine. If you typically work out with free weights, try cable machines. If you do yoga, try a barre class. Go to the park and run sideline sprints instead of running indoors on a treadmill. Breaking up the monotony of a set routine can be very beneficial in keeping you motivated.
- Reward yourself. Consider starting a reward jar—drop a couple of dollars in for every workout you complete, more for those workouts that took extra effort to get into. Every few weeks—when you need a boost of motivation—take your reward money and treat yourself to a new yoga mat, those running shorts you’ve had your eye on, or whatever it is that sparks your enthusiasm for working out.
I’d love to hear from you! How do you banish your excuses and keep yourself on track?